Exhibition will showcase our industrial past

A NEW exhibition telling the story of the area’s engineering heritage is now open at North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre in Motherwell.

Titled ‘From Ore to Atom’, the exhibition charts the development of the industry during the 19th and 20th centuries.

It contains a mix of engineering objects, ephemera, oral testimonies, photographs and film footage, including an image of the 1908 Olympic stadium in London, built by structural engineering firm Alexander Findlay.

Notable displays also include a scale model of an Anderson Boyes Longwall coal-cutting machine and rare examples of wooden patterns for a Marshall Fleming steam crane.

Other famous engineering names on show include Motherwell Bridge, Thomas Hudson, George Russell, Murray & Paterson, Hurst Nelson & Co and Stewarts & Lloyds.

Between them they designed and constructed bridges, buildings, boilers, machinery and steel tubes that went around the globe, and a large scale world map helps illustrate where local engineers exported their goods.

For budding engineers there will be a chance to show their skills with a variety of learning activities.

Exhibition curator Sean Curran said: “Come along and discover the wonderful array of products that were engineered from locally-produced iron and steel.

“From boats to bridges, coal-cutters to cranes, we made them all! Discover the impact North Lanarkshire’s light and heavy engineers have had on shaping the modern world - indeed, much of their work is still in use today, which is an incredible testimony to the quality and longevity of their output.”

The free exhibition runs until June 30 and is open 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday. For more information call 01698 274590.

Meanwhile, the heritage centre is also set for an afternoon of Victorian Music Hall style entertainment on Saturday as part of the nationwide Festival of Museums weekend.

Entertainment includes Victorian music hall performances by the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust.

The free activities run from 11am to 4pm, with music hall performers mingling with visitors from 1.30 to 2.30pm, the only charge being £5 for Victorian-style photographs.

Museums learning and access officer Carol Ann Kerr said: “We are looking forward to a great afternoon of fun activities as part of our local celebrations for the Festival of Museums.

“There will be lots for the whole family to see and do, including Victorian toys and games, crafts and people can have their portrait done, Victorian-style.”

For full details call from Carol Ann on 01236 638462.